How do YOU make a Tomato Sandwich?
It’s a summer time favorite, a southern delicacy, and a family farm tradition. Like barbecue, the definition of the tomato sandwich is largely up to local regions and traditions. In an area as diverse as Gwinnett, people have all sorts of ideas about what a tomato sandwich should be. In asking our audiences what their favorite combination of ingredients included I was even told to drive to New Jersey to get a “real tomato.” I wasn’t aware that New Jersey invented the tomato! Actually, Virginia is the more likely candidate for the tomato origin story. It was Thomas Jefferson who is credited as one of the first pioneers of the tomato, bringing seeds over from England for his famous garden. The first reference that anyone has found for the tomato sandwich seems to come from The Virginia Chronicle in 1911 where a man describes his lunch as a “tomato sandwich, a slice of watermelon, iced tea, and a slice of coconut cream pie.” All we know about that guy is that he knew how to make lunch!
Still, there is a rigorous debate on what constitutes the tomato sandwich.
People have different opinions for all the key elements.
What kind of bread? Toasted or not? Fresh Tomato or Chilled? Peeled or not peeled? What kind of Mayo? (Now, here is really where it got heated!) Miracle Whip or Not… (A true social media debate!)
After all the major debate and commentary we collected all the data to confirm the official tomato sandwich.
Yes. You can send us our Pulitzer Prize. We have really tackled the summer’s most important issue.
THE OFFICIAL TOMATO SANDWICH
(according to readers, fans, and Gwinnett citizens)
2 Slices of WHITE BREAD
Fresh, so it sticks to the back of your teeth.
Home Grown Vine Ripe Tomato
Juicy so you have to hold over the sink.
Black Pepper & Salt
Mayonnaise (Not Miracle Whip)
a sizable portion
For the final ingredient, we all knew it would come down to the brand of mayo.
It was so close, Blue Plate came in third, Hellmans came in second, and the winner by popular vote is the one and only, Dukes Mayo!
Now, of course many people may not agree and that’s okay. Some people hate mayo. Some love miracle whip on bread with a tomato on it, but that clearly was not the majority. Other people suggested adding bacon and lettuce, and even a few people suggested ham. Those of course are completely different sandwiches. However, if enough people would have voted and said a BLT is what they wanted, I would probably have written something about BLTs.
In any issue we face here in America we are sure to have disagreements. Overall though, we live in a democracy. In a democracy, we all have a voice and a vote. A democratic government is still the most accountable form of government in the world. Democracy improves the quality of decision making. It provides a method for us to deal with differences and conflicts. Democracy allows people to correct their own mistakes. If you don’t like the results of this poll, then you can vote again next time the issue is raised. You can protest the results if you like, but you still have to vote. That’s how democracy works.
It is also how I like to make a tomato sandwich.